Education to bring net gains for Irish seafood sector

Equipping the Irish seafood sector with the proper and relevant skills in business, financial management, marketing, law and innovation is essential to its sustainability and growth in a post-Brexit era. 

This is according to international fisheries and aquaculture expert Dr. Sigurdur Grétar Bogason who has more than 30 years of industry and academic research experience in the international seafood sector. 

Dr. Bogason was speaking at the official launch at Wexford County Council offices of the Higher Diploma in Business in Aquabusiness at Institute of Technology Carlow Wexford Campus, a new academic programme tailored for the next generation of seafood producers, managers and entrepreneurs. 

The course is the only Level 8 programme of its kind in the country and is a collaboration between Institute of Technology Carlow, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) and IFA Aquaculture.

Movers and shakers

“In Iceland, there are now three universities delivering programmes for the seafood sector, one of which, in the north of the country, is a three-year degree course. Most of the movers and shakers in the seafood sector are graduates of this programme”, said Dr. Bogason. 

“Now with BREXIT looming ahead and increasing concerns about how trade will fare in the changed environment, companies in the seafood sector have started to prepare own scenarios and are putting strategies in place to meet any upcoming challenges. 

“Equipping the sector with the education and skills it needs is essential to the realisation of a strong and sustainable seafood sector that can meet whatever challenges lie ahead”.  

The Higher Diploma in Business in Aquabusiness aims to expand Ireland’s global seafood sector. According to BIM’s recently published Business of Seafood report, the seafood industry in Ireland currently employs more than 14,000 people and the Government policy document Harvesting Our Ocean’s Wealth 2012 highlights training as essential to the continued growth of the sector. 

Designed to assist producers, managers and entrepreneurs, the programme has strong links with industry and includes lectures, work placement, guest lecturers and site visits.